The Impact of Toothlessness
Edentulism is a medical condition described as having complete loss of all natural teeth. When there still remains one or two natural teeth it is partial edentulism, a really preventable condition as it slowly happens over time. The loss of all teeth is a life-changing event that substantially reduces quality of life, self-image, and daily functioning. Despite advances in preventive dentistry, edentulism is still a major public health problem worldwide. In the US, about 9 million Americans are edentulous, affecting 25% of adults over 60 years of age.
Why does this happen? A major reason behind tooth loss is periodontal health resulting from poor oral hygiene. The education, behaviour and beliefs of affected persons or medical professionals, availability of dental care or even existing societal behaviour impact the condition.
Economic circumstances, lifestyle and oral health knowledge play major roles. Toothlessness can be the end-result of ill-fitting and unstable prostheses. The dentally uninsured demonstrate increased degrees of this condition, that could be a consequence of restricted use of protective and regenerative dental care solutions.
Tooth loss modifies normal physiology. There is significant bone loss that affects the height and width of the face and facial appearance. Edentulous patients have decreased masticatory function – the ability to bite, chew food, or swallow due to muscle atrophy.
This can lead to modifications in food choices which can impact overall health. Oral health is thus affected, too. There are functional and sensory deficiencies of the oral mucosa, oral musculature, and the salivary glands that can lead to inflammatory processes, mouth infections, and abnormal oro-facial movements.
The treatment options for edentulous patients range from conventional complete dentures to fixed implant-supported restorations of varying complexities. Rehabilitation with dental implants not only replace missing teeth and restore functionality and esthetics but also improve confidence and quality of life.
Rehabilitation with Bellevue Dental Implants
For the edentulous patient who see us at Overlake Dental, our goal is not just to show concern and give expert treatment, but also to achieve optimal esthetics, phonetics, and mastication for the once disabled patient.